December 15, 2017
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Identifying threats
Space Kits help soldiers recognize jamming

A crash course on how to recognize jamming on communications devices and networks now helps prepare Soldiers for obstacles they may face while deployed or during rotations to combat training centers.

The biggest problem at the moment is that units aren't able to recognize that they are being GPS jammed. They immediately assume it's an equipment issue or an operator issue. Failure to realize that some electromagnetic interference may be an actual enemy attack can have major implications for a unit.

Using "space training kits," small teams from US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command travel around the Army to locations where home station training is conducted. The kits help Soldiers there learn how to identify when an enemy is interfering with their communications or navigation equipment.

These space kits enable the user at the lowest level to recognize when jamming is taking place and to prevent that sort of issue from arising.

There are two training kits. One of them, Space Kit 3, can replicate GPS jamming on handheld Defense Advanced GPS Receivers, also known as DAGRs. The Army provides DAGRs to Soldiers downrange to help them find their position and navigate while operating in unfamiliar locations.

In a classroom setting, instructors use Space Kit 3 to emit interference that Soldiers can then learn to detect using the DAGR's built-in analyzer.

After they recognize their devices are being jammed, Soldiers would then report the problem to the rest of their unit. Soldiers can also use the DAGRs to locate the source of the interference.

The newer Space Kit 4 can replicate enemy interference on satellite communications. While satellite communications receivers don't have an internal analyzer, Soldiers can use an external spectrum analyzer to help identify interference.

With just one training kit, instructors are able to train more than 100 Soldiers a day. Soldiers need only about 20 minutes to get up to speed.